By Kadrie Koroma
A Seven-man delegation led by the Deputy Minister of Health and Sanitation 1, Madam Madina Rahman have returned home after attending the Meeting of Experts of the Fourth Conference of African Ministers Responsible for Civil Registration from 4-8 December 2017 in Nouakchott, Mauritania. The theme for the meeting was “Accelerating a coordinated improvement of Civil Registration and Vital Statistics for implementation and monitoring of the development agenda in Africa: Review of progress and the way forward”.
Deputy Health Minister 1, Madam Madina Rahman
The Meeting was attended by representatives from Algeria, Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cabo Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, the Comoros, Congo, Cote d’ Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Gabon, the Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, the Niger, Nigeria, Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Sierra Leone Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, the Sudan, Swaziland, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Sierra Leone delegation (centre) Deputy Health Minister 1, Madam Madina Rahman
The meeting was jointly organized by the African Union Commission (AUC), the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), and the African Development Bank (AfDB). Also at the meeting was the United Nations (Statistics Division), United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), World Health Organization (WHO) and World Bank among others.
During the opening session, the representative of the African Development Bank said a functional Civil Registration and Vital Statistics (CRVS) system was vital for monitoring the global 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, Agenda 2063 and the five priorities of the African Development Bank, known as the “High Fives”.
The representative of the Economic Commission for Africa highlighted the significant improvement of CRVS systems in African over the past seven years, stating that several critical resolutions and recommendations were passed during previous CRVS conference to strengthen and accelerate CRVS system in the region.
The representative said the region had moved from isolated and project-based efforts to a more coordinated and holistic programmatic approach under the African Programme on Accelerated Improvement of Civil Registration and Vital Statistics (APAI-CRVS).
The representative of the African Union Commission (AUC) welcomed participants on behalf of the Chairperson of the AUC, Mr. Moussa Faki Mahamat, saying that the fourth conference was organized as a follow-up to the previous conferences, to exchange views, share experiences and best practices and identify challenges in the area of CRVS in Africa.
She said the Heads of State and Government had prioritized the improvement of CRVS on the continent and institutionalized the Ministerial Conference in 2012 and declared 2017-2026 the decade for repositioning CRVS in Africa. The representative assured the meeting that the AUC would continue to support member states in the production of reliable, harmonized and timely data through the implementation of the revised Strategy for Harmonization of Statistics in Africa (SHaSAII), and called on all to collaborate in order to realize the common vision of a united, integrated and prosperous Africa.
As part of the meeting, election was conducted and participants elected the following countries to constitute its Bureau on the basis of rotational regional representation including Mauritania, North Africa as Chair, Zambia, Southern Africa as First Vice Chair, Sudan, East Africa as Second Vice Chair, Gabon, Central Africa as Third Vice Chair and Cote d’ Ivoire, West Africa as Rapporteur.
During the session, questions and exercise to answer on how can cross-sectoral collaboration helps improve civil registration, particularly the birth, death and cause of death registration, but with the dynamic Sierra Leone Deputy Minister of Health and team, they were able to answer all questions and exercise.
Highlight of the meeting include presentations on Civil Registration and Vital Statistics for monitoring the progress made in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and Agenda 2036, Civil Registration and the health and development Agenda, Civil Registration and Vital Statistics and the demographic dividend, Birth Registration as an opportunity to integrate Civil Registration and identity management systems, parallel session, panel discussions and recommendations for the way forward formed part of the meeting.